Welcome to the third edition of the Blogging Questions & Answers. You can ask your questions either through the comments on this post or via the Contact Form.
1. Karthik asks:
Do you ever write on blogs with the intent to resell it later?
No I don’t. That does not mean that such strategy would not work though. I know several people who create blogs with the intent of reselling right from the beginning, and if the plan is executed well you can make good profits.
My case is different because I write about things that I love. I am 23 years old and I don’t have many bills to pay, so money is not a priority right now. If money was the most important factor I would start websites on different niches like celebrity gossip or entertainment.
2. Ian Fernando asks:
How am I able to get more readers to comment and participate within a blog?
There is one thing that you can not change in the equation: the fact that the majority of visitors will only read your content and not interact or leave comments. Different niches will have a different level of participation, but overall the number of comments is strictly tied to traffic levels.
So the first advice would be to focus on the content and traffic, and the comments should come naturally.
That said there are several things that you can do in order to maximize the comments on your blog given your traffic levels, including:
- Participate in the conversation yourself by answering to all the comments
- Ask your readers explicitly what is their opinion on the matter
- Make sure that it is easy to comment (I don’t like CAPTCHAS or strict moderation)
- Reward people that leave comments often
- Write about controversial topics
- Offer subscription to comments
3. Online Money asks:
What inspire you to write articles? Is it for money? Is it for passion? Any other reason?
I would say that passion is the main factor. I am fascinated at the way technology and the Internet are changing the way we communicate, work and live. In my opinion the revolution that the computer and the Internet are creating can be compared to what happened on the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain, the so called Industrial Revolution. I am not sure where this is heading, but I want to be there in the front line.
The second factor would be life style. I worked for one year inside a large multinational company, and it was enough for me to realize that the corporate environment is not what I am looking for. Right now all I need to work is my laptop and an Internet connection. That freedom is priceless.
4. Tejvan asks:
To make money online, do you think it is more important to bring traffic through google and search engines or develop an RSS readership?
First of all these strategies are not mutually exclusive. Most popular blogs, in fact, have both a big RSS readership and big organic traffic. It is a natural cycle: in order to get RSS readers you need quality content, quality content will attract backlinks, backlinks will attract search engine traffic.
That being said there are some blogs that have a modest RSS readership and a huge organic traffic. Honestly I would be fine with that, mainly because organic traffic is gold when it comes to monetization via PPC methods (read Google AdSense).
If you need to focus on only one of these factors, however, I would aim for building a big RSS readership. First and foremost because organic traffic is volatile. One day you are on Google’s first page for a popular term, the other you are gone. Secondly because you can also leverage a big and loyal readership for other projects down the road.
5. Sumesh asks:
I see you are using h1 for post titles on index also. However, is it safe to do so? Google guidelines indicate that there should be only one h1 tag per page. I am confused too, and is this a slip-up on your part, or purposeful?
This is a slip-up on my part. In fact I’ve had this problem noted on the “to-do” list for a long time. Ideally, as you mentioned, you want to have only one H1 tag on each page.
I am already working on the fix with a friend, and once I do it I will write about it. On most WordPress themes you can solve this issue with some PHP coding. It is not straight forward, but definitely doable.
6. Roseate asks:
Do you think it is important for bloggers to use PPC to advertise their blogs, as I feel like most of them do?! And do you use PPC?
I think that PPC advertising methods like Google AdWords can definitely be part of a marketing strategy for a blog. The best way in my opinion to use it is when you are launching a blog.
By spending $200 you could send 5,000 or more visitors to your blog. If your content is outstanding it is very likely that a good percentage of these visitors will bookmark your site and subscribe to the RSS feed.
Paying for traffic will not make an average blog popular. But if the blog is good in the first place that influx of traffic will accelerate things.
7. 60 in 3 asks:
What exactly are supplemental results? Am I missing something I should be paying attention to?
Google has a supplemental index where it puts pages of “lower quality.” These pages are not assigned PageRank, and they only appear in search results for very narrow terms. There are many factors that can make your pages go into the supplemental index, including duplicate content or the lack of backlinks.
Keep in mind this is a minor problem unless the majority of your content is in the supplemental index. Even in that case it should get fixed naturally as your blog becomes more popular. If you want more information on the matter check out the post “Calculate Your Google Supplemental Index Ratio.”
8. Karthik Kastury asks:
How long did it take for you to make a decent income with your blog? Say more than $100.
If I remember correctly after two months I was already making $100 monthly. That is not what I would call decent money though . Daily Blog Tips is approaching its one year anniversary, and only now I am starting to see good money ($2000).
9. Keith asks:
What is the best method to have your content added to the popular link tracking sites like Digg, Stumble Upon, Technorati, etc…?
The content itself will influence your chances of being featured on these big social bookmarking sites. Not only must the content be outstanding and original, but it should also be written in a certain fashion.
People that use social bookmarking sites are very technology-savvy, so tech related related topics have a good chance of getting picked. Secondly these folks are also multi-taskers, so make sure that your content is scannable and that is goes straight to the point. Lists, bullet points and clear messages are your friends here.
Finally, it never hurts get friends to help. If you think your latest article is really good, ask them a couple of votes to get the ball rolling. Do not try to game the system though, else you will do more harm than good.
For more information on this topic check the article “10 Tips for Writing Bookmarkable Content.”
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